Ten Ways To Beat A Creative Slump
Gah! I’m feeling poorly. I hardly ever get sick so when I do I turn into that gal who feels super sorry for herself.
I get restless, I don’t know quite what to do with myself. I know that taking some time out to rest up, to work on a little something creative and calming would make me feel a zillion times better, but I can’t seem to find what I want to do or what I want to make.
We’ve all heard of writer’s block but, what about crafter’s block, surely that’s a thing too?
It’s that feeling when you know that you want to make or do something, but you can’t for the life of you figure out what that thing should be. It can sometimes happen when you know that you only have a limited amount of time to spend doing something creative, but you end up feeling all in a muddle about what that should be.
There are simply days when we spend more time procrastinating then we spend actually doing. I guess that this can be true of a lot of things in life, while I don’t know if I can shake the daily life procrastination bug out of you, I thought I would share a few tips that I have for getting over a Creative Slump!
1. Dig out a UFO (Unfinished Object)
It’s a fact that all of us have something (or, in many cases, somethings) that are languishing in a Must Finish pile of projects. Taking the time to dig something that has been untouched or remains incomplete is a great way to get your crafting mojo back. Not only will it relieve that Crafter’s Guilt- that pang you get when someone says, “whatever happened to that hexagon quilt you were sewing/ that cabled sweater you were knitting/ that art journal you were working on?” But, it also has a fantastic feel good factor too. Nothing beats the feeling of a finished project, and by picking up something that you’ve neglected for some time is a great way to fast track that feeling.
2 Organise your ‘Studio’
We all have a little space that we dedicate to our creative hobbies – it might be a whole room (if your super lucky) or a corner in a family space, or even just a basket of bits and bobs. But, over time as you gather more supplies, collect patterns and acquire tools things start to get pretty cluttered pretty quickly. I have a little motto, “Work In, Work Is” – I’m never really sure where this phrase actually came from, but I take it to mean that if you work in a pig sty then you can expect your work to be a bit of a pig’s ear so, on the flip side, if your workspace is neat, tidy and beautifully arranged, then chances are your projects will be too.
3 Shop Your Stash
Once you’ve gone to the trouble of pulling out and tiding up your creative space, if you’re anything like me, you’ll rediscover things that you completely forgot you had! Remember that oh-so-flattering dress pattern that you simply must make for yourself? That Jelly Roll that was calling to you? Those hand dyed skeins of laceweight that would have been a sin to leave in the store? Fall in love with these materials all over again and make them the reality that you’d once dreamed of.
4 Work on a Charity Project
I’m a firm believer that keeping your hands busy is good for the soul. And, if you can bring a little good to someone along with that then even better. Is your local hospital calling out for little knits for the neonatal ward? Is the hospice in your area looking for donated handmade goods to sell to raise funds? There is a huge community of crafters online that work on projects for charities around the world – so, whether you prefer to sew dresses to aid children in Africa or knit teddies for children suffering tragedies you’ll be able to lend a helping hand and supporting some very good causes with your craft on a local or even global scale!
5 Sign up to a Course
Sometimes we fall into a Creative Slump simply because we don’t feel challenged enough. The things we work on start to feel a bit samey and lacklustre. Maybe it is time to skill up! Learning a new technique or craft is a great way to get that brain buzzing and will bring a new lease of life to your makes. Most craft stores will have a program of classes and workshops, or even informal drop-in sessions, so check out what’s available in your area. There are also a wide range of classes online – you might even find one taught by your crafty idol how lives on the other side of the planet and who you thought you’d never manage to get a class with. Check out Craftsy or The Amazings for a wide range of online classes that you can work on in the the comfort of your own home!
6 Get Online
The Internet is bursting with inspiration for us creative folks. Whether you are checking out the latest handmade treats over on Etsy, updating your boards on Pinterest, searching for a new pattern on Ravelry or checking in with your favourite crafty blogs on your blog reader you’ll be sure to find a fresh hit of inspiration to energise your next project.
Perpetual Procrastinators Beware! This step comes with a warning!
It’s a widely know fact that the second you log on to the Internet, space and time as you know it will cease to exist. You think that you’ve just been spending five minutes in the morning catching up on your favourite boards on Pinterest, only to realise that you’ve repinned 10,000 new bacon recipes, it’s dark outside, the dog’s not been walked and the whole family is waiting on dinner. Don’t pretent that I’m the only person that has happened to! Remeber the Internet, and all the many, many creative resources you’ll find online are fantastic for reigniting your creative spark, but be mindful of the time that you spend surfing!
7 Join a Club
Finding a group of like minded folks is a brilliant way to get the creative juices flowing again – and to meet some pretty rad people. Ask at your local craft store to find out if there is a group that you can join. Find out if there is a Stitch’n’Bitch group in your area, or even set up your own Sewing Circle or Quilting Bee!
8 Get out of your comfort zone
Try working on a project or craft that will really challenge you. You might be a dedicated knitter and the thought of picking up a paint brush brings you out in a cold sweat. But, giving a different craft a try is a great way to reinvigorate your creativity. Who knows, you might find that you have a penchant for art journaling, or simply find that working with a different medium helps you to explore colours, styles and designs for your preferred craft.
9 Mentor Someone
We all have that friend who will loving coo over our new handmade frock or crochet cardigan or elegantly hand written cards and proclaim that they’d love to be able to make something like that. Well, why not set about helping the to learn? Chances are you will already have enough goodies in your stash to dig out a spare crochet hook and yarn, calligraphy pen and ink and get them on the road to their first granny square or the beginnings of elegant lettering!
10 Get Outside
Yup. It’s true a change of scenery can change a mindset. Get your shoes on and head out for a walk, a bit of fresh air is just that you need to clear the cobwebs. I’m not just saying that because I have a little hound sat here looking up at me longingly, wanting to go for a hike. The great outdoors is packed with inspiration – from the colours and shapes in the nature around you, to the people you bump into and the the places your mind will wander to.
So, step outside and see if you can shift that funk once and for all!
Oh, and how about a cheeky Bonus Tip?
11 Check out the Made Peachy Gallery
There are heaps of projects to work on, recipes to try and even some crafty skills you can try your hand at!
So, tell me, how do you beat a Creative Slump?